The occurrence of past large earthquakes in space and time has been useful in estimating locations and repeat times for similar future events (Kelleher et al., 1973; and McCann et al., 1979). The lack of major energy release in and near Costa Rica during the last 30 years (i.e., seismic slip deficiency, as shown by McNally and Minster, 1981), and a recent increase in earthquake activity motivated the organization and installation of a permanent seismographic network. The network became operational in early 1984 with financial support from the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA, USAID). The Costa Rica network will provide the data to help understand the nature of the tectonic interaction of the Cocos and Caribbean plates and to evaluate the potential for present and future earthquake hazards in light of the historical earthquake activity.

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